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Global Run Challenge Profile: Running is something that grounds Benn Griffin and helps him self-medicate

RUN THE WORLD:  Benn Griffin parents were runners. "My parents went on running dates in the 80s," says Benn. "I guess that was the start of me. Growing up I ran on the weekends with my mom and dad, usually three miles, and I did a 5k or two," he says. The movie Forrest Gump came out when he was in third or fourth grade. "Everyone called me Forrest because I could just run and run and run."  Running defines him. He has run every day since December 28, 2012. "I believe that running is a universal sport that crosses geographic, political, economic, spiritual, and physical boundaries. It unites us.  Anyone can do it. For the most part I just like to run," says Benn.  He has run races as short as a mile and as long as 72 hours (188 miles).  He has run 91 marathons and ultras. "In May I won the open division in a 12 hour ultra. It was my sixth time at that race, I'm a creature of habit."   He does not think there is a secret to success.  "It's just relentless hard work, persistence, mixed with a little bit of stupidity," he says.  Benn started the ultrarunning community in the Berkshires and is a ultra race director.  "Together with two friends we started with just three races, but then I added two more, so it's a five race summer series."  Benn is a cross country coach and a sixth grade geography teacher.  A highlight of his coaching was watching his girls have two undefeated seasons in 2015 and 2017.  He teaches at a low income charter school where 92% of the students are first generation college students.  "My sister and father are educators, as were my paternal grandparents and my aunt. So you could say, like running, it's in the blood."  Running is something that grounds him and helps him self-medicate.  "My favorite quote of all time comes from a guy named Marc Davis: "All it takes is all you got."  We already have everything we need to be successful. We just have to tap into it and unlock that potential," says Benn Griffin who has already logged in 309.65 miles for the Run The World Global Run Challenge that started July 4. (Wed 8) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Jake Robertson primed to compete at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

New Zealand runner Jake Robertson has announced he will join defending champion Philemon Rono and Canadian Reid Coolseat at this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 21st. Robertson, 28, is having a fantastic year, debuting in the marathon on March 4 at the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon in Japan, where he finished in third place while setting a New Zealand national record with a time of 2:08:26. He has also won three prominent U.S. road races including the Houston Half-Marathon in January (where we ran 60:01), the Crescent City 10K in New Orleans and most recently, the Beach to Beacon 10K in Cape Elizabeth, Maine where he ran 27:37. Robertson, along with his twin brother Zane and his fiancée Masai, has been living and training in the town of Iten, in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, for about 12 years. He has expressed the desire and intention to not only win STWM, but to challenge Rono’s course record of 2:06:51, set at last year’s race. (Wed 8) ⚡AMP
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Kenya’s world 400m hurdles champion Nicholas Bett, 28, dies after a car crash

Bett produced one of the biggest surprises of the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 when he took the gold medal in the 400m hurdles, setting a Kenyan record of 47.79, the fastest time in the world that year. Few had touted him as a medal prospect heading into those championships, but he had won the Kenyan Trials in a PB of 48.29 just a few weeks prior and, despite carrying a foot injury at the time, had earned bronze medals in the 400m hurdles and 4x400m at the African Championships in 2014. During his youth, Bett had started out in volleyball before switching to athletics. He initially showed promise in the 110m hurdles but then gravitated towards the longer event and coached himself for a number of years, improving from a 53-second runner into a 49-second performer. It was in 2014 when his potential caught the eye of coach Vincent Mumo. He introduced Bett to Jukka Harkonen, who became Bett’s agent and organised a link-up with South African coach Hennie Kotze. Bett’s training stints in Finland and South Africa led to significant technical changes in the way he approached the event. Although he still lacked consistency, Bett showed in Beijing what he was capable of when he got it right. Various challenges on and off the track prevented him from reproducing his best form in the years that followed. He hit a hurdle in his heat at the Olympic Games in Rio and was duly disqualified but ended his season on a high when winning at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris in 48.01. Injury cut short his 2017 season, but he returned to form in 2018, recording a season’s best of 48.88 and reaching the 400m hurdles finals at both the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and the African Championships in Asaba.  He was killed in an early-morning car crash Wednesday in the country's famed high-altitude training region, police and his coach said. Nandi county police commander Patrick Wambani said Bett was killed in the crash on the road between Eldoret and Kapsabet, two of Kenya's best-known distance-running training towns in the Rift Valley region. He was born and lived in the region. Bett was driving alone, Wambani said. (Wed 8) ⚡AMP
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Vasu Duzhiy wins Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100-mile ultra

Imagine running around the same half-mile city block, in the stifling summer heat of Queens, New York City, for 52 days. Since June 17, that’s exactly what ten individuals from seven countries have been doing as they compete in the world’s longest (but possibly smallest) ultramarathon, the 22nd annual Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100-mile race. This year’s race will end tonight at midnight for those who have not yet completed the distance. Vasu Duzhiy, 52, of St. Petersburg, Russia, won the race for the third time, around 10 p.m. last Tuesday (day 45). It was his seventh straight finish. Duzhiy works for a lumber company back home. Kobi Oren, a father of four from Israel and the first Israeli ever to complete this race, finished the next day, in the third-fastest time ever for a first-time runner. And Ushika Muckenhumer of Salzburg, Austria finished yesterday in third place, also his first attempt. Yesterday was day 50. Sopan Tsekov, a graphic designer from Sofia, Bulgaria is expected to finish late this evening. He was the youngest person ever to finish the race when he ran it in 2005 at age 24. None of the women has yet finished, but two are in a position to complete the distance by midnight tonight. Surasa Mairer, a secretary from Vienna, Austria is in the lead and expected to finish around 6 p.m. Mairer has three previous wins under her belt and holds the women’s course record. Kaneenika Janakova, 48, of Bratislava, Slovakia, is in second position among the women. Janakova holds numerous records at this event. (Tue 7) ⚡AMP
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Running slow can eventually help you run faster!

“When you’re running slowly, and your injury risk is lower, you can run more often, more miles, and build up slowly,” according to Claire Bartholic, a coach at Runners Connect, an online community of runners and coaches. But running slowly also allows your body to improve the energy system most essential to running: your aerobic energy system. Your body relies on a few different energy systems to get you up and moving. For any sustained movement, it uses your aerobic energy system, meaning it creates energy with oxygen. Oxygen helps the muscles convert fat, protein and glycogen (the form of glucose stored in your liver and muscles, which your body generates from the carbohydrates you eat) into energy. If you want to be able to finish a marathon, for example, or even a 5K or a run around the block, this is the energy system you want to develop, says Bartholic, who is a competitive masters athlete herself. And to develop it, you should run at a pace where your muscles can get plenty of oxygen. When you’re sprinting, or running so fast that you’ve reached your aerobic threshold, or, based on your level of conditioning, when your body runs out of oxygen, it switches over to another energy system — your anaerobic energy system. Without enough oxygen, your muscles convert glycogen into energy less efficiently, and you fatigue more quickly, which eventually forces you to slow down or stop. So if all your runs are too fast, according to Bartholic, you’re not developing the power system that you need for 97 percent of a race. “Your maximum aerobic benefit is going to be running slowly.” Of course, “ ‘slow’ is highly individualized and varies a lot between people,” according to Carwyn Sharp, chief science officer at the National Strength and Conditioning Association in Colorado Springs. (Tue 7) ⚡AMP
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Global Run Challenge Profile: Julie likes to run along the Seine River in Paris when the city sleeps

RUN THE WORLD:  33-year-old Julie Delle Donne Voisse works at the reception of a Nice Parisian hôtel.  She started running before her 30th birthday.  "I wanted to prove to myself that I could do something "athletic", even though I have never been a fit girl," says Julie.  "I started with a 10-15 minute run."   After a few weeks she could easily run up to a hour.  Running is very important to Julie.  "Taking time for myself, is good for body and mind," she says. "It’s free and accessible anywhere, just need shoes and a few free minutes. I tried other activity but I never had this freedom." Julie is married and has a seven year old boy.  Across the street from the hotel where she works is the Seine river.  "I like running in Paris, along the Seine early morning when the city sleeps, or late evening in public gardens to admire the city," she says. Besides training, Julie also likes to run races and looks forward to collect the medal and hang it on her board! Why did she enter this challenge?  " Running is an individual sport but we share so much between runners. This challenge is a good motivation around the borders."  Julie has posted 16.16 miles so far for the Run The World Global Run Challenge. "I met Julie on our trip to Paris in May," says Bob Anderson.  "I was impressed by the passion she has for running.  I told her about our challenge and she signed up right away." (Tue 7) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Ashley Brasovan, Sets Course Record At USATF 30K Trail Championships

Cloudy skies gave way to sunshine by the 7:00 a.m. start for today’s USATF 30km Trail Championships held in conjunction with the Pikes Peak Ultra in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Coupled with temperatures in the mid-50s, there were bound to be some fast times on the course in spite of some wear and tear on the trails underfoot from recent rain storms. Ashley Brasovan, in her debut race in Colorado Springs, came into the event focused on a course record, “I obviously wanted to place at the top, and I wanted to go after the course record,” said the 27-year-old from Westminster, CO. “I thought it would be a good, fast course for my road background, but you never know until you get out there. “I thought 2:15 would be doable (the existing record of 2:17:55 was set at the championships in 2016 by Megan Roche),” said Brasovan. “I tend to go out fast and just hold on…that’s always the goal.” Brasovan took the lead from the start on a challenging course complete with single track trails, fire roads, a short paved section, and 3,500 feet of climbing, to cross the finish line in 2:06:59, winning her second national trail title in record time. “I’m really happy to go under my goal time,” she said. “The 30K is my sweet spot right now, that two hour range.” (Mon 6) ⚡AMP
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Katie Kantrowitz is running the Falmouth Road Race in memory of three family members who passed away from cancer

In the past three years that Kantrowitz has run the Falmouth Road Race with JAF, three of her family members have passed away from cancer. This year, she will be running in their memory. The Joe Andruzzi Foundation, an organization committed to providing financial assistance to New England cancer patients and their family members when it is needed most, has announced that Katie Kantrowitz, a native of Sherborn and resident of Boston, will run the 2018 New Balance Falmouth Road Race in support of the foundation’s mission. On Sunday, Aug. 19, more than 60 “Team JAF” runners will take strides against cancer and represent the foundation in the scenic 7-mile race through the heart of Cape Cod. Last year’s team raised more than $100,000, and the 2018 team hopes to continue to raise the bar. In the past three years that Kantrowitz has run the Falmouth Road Race with JAF, three of her family members have passed away from cancer. This year, she will be running in their memory. As a runner who formerly worked in the health-care field, she knows exactly how difficult it can be for patients and their families to undergo treatment while focusing on living a happy and positive life. (Mon 6) ⚡AMP
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A test road-cooling method for 2020 marathon is being tested

Researchers have tested water-laden panels covered with grass in an experiment aimed at cooling ground surfaces. The goal is to counter the severe heat expected for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic marathon events. A group of university and corporate environmental researchers carried out the experiment on Monday on a sidewalk in the capital's Nihonbashi district. The path is along a part of the marathon course. They placed highly water-retentive panels covered with grass on 2 sections of the walkway. One section was 13 meters long and the other was 9 meters. The researchers say the panels can hold12 liters of water per square meter. They say the panels' cooling effect comes from water evaporation, just as the ground is cooled by rain or sprinkled water. The researchers used special camera images to check if the surface temperature of the grass was lower than that of the nearby paved road. The group says it verified the cooling effect, and will call for the method to be used along the marathon course in 2 years. Professor Kentaro Iijima of Tokyo City University said the gradual evaporation of the water in the panels enhances the cooling effect of the grass. (Mon 6) ⚡AMP
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Kenya's Fancy Chemutai has announced her return to training after shaking off a hamstring injury

Kenya's Fancy Chemutai has announced her return to training after shaking off a hamstring injury which has ruled her out of active competition since February. Chemutai, 23, was a late withdrawal from the Kenyan team that competed at the Valencia World Half Marathon after her ankle and hamstring injury flared up. She had put her body under too much pressure on her way to winning the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) back in February. She clocked a 1:04:52, tantalizingly just one second outside Joyciline Jepkosgei's world record set in Valencia last year. However, that feat saw her aggravate her hamstring injury, ruling her out of action for six months. "I am getting back into shape. Today I have run five 1,000m on the track and I am looking forward to my next race," she said on Monday in Iten. Chemutai has since promised to return from her hamstring injury stronger than ever. However, she said her management team at Volare Sport is yet to confirm which race she will be running in next. "Ever since winning the RAK Half marathon in UAE, I have been thrust into the center of the battle and other athletes will always be looking out to stop me. But I have to put my focus on running my own race," she said. Chemutai also confirmed that the ankle injury scare she suffered on her way to victory in the UAE has healed. The Kenyan opted to seek medical treatment locally unlike several elite runners who travel to Europe and the USA for specialized treatment. Chemutai is however not ready for full marathon competition and will continue running in the 21km distance and other shorter road races. (Mon 6) ⚡AMP
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Kiprop Mutai wins the 21st Annual Debbie Green 5K in a blistering time of 14:12 on a hot and humid day

Kiprop Mutai, secured the overall victory as he crossed the finish line in a blistering time of 14:12, while Vicoty Chepngeno was the overall female runner as she broke the tape as the clock read 15:39. Mutai, was in a small pack the whole race, but was able to keep out in front and get the overall victory by 2 seconds. “This area is very good. It’s very hot, but I like it. It was really hilly, it’s not easy. But maybe next time, I’ll do better than (Saturday),” Mutai said. “This is my first time to be here. Maybe next year, I’ll come back.” Four runners ran the 3.1-mile course in less than 15 minutes. Cyrus Korir came in second place with a time of 14:14 while Simion Chirchir, who won the Debbie Green 5K the last two years, clocked in at 14:17. Daniel Kemoi secured fourth place in a time of 14:29. Rounding out the top 5 men was Kipkoech Kirui (15:13). Martins Ferry’s Cedric Robinson was the top local male finisher as he finished 10th (16:36). Just like Mutai, Chepngeno stated that the course was a challenge with all the hills. “This race was not easy. It was very humid. This race was had a lot of hills,” Chepngeno said. “I tried my best. I ran a 15:54 at another race, so this is my best time.” Delvine Meringor was the second female to cross the finish line with a time of 15:41 followed by Susan Jerotich (16:18). Jerotich won the annual 5K event the past three years. Rounding out the top five females were Iveen Chepkemoi (16:39) and Margaret Wamahiga (17:15). (Mon 6) ⚡AMP
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109 Olympians & World Champions Facing Doping Proceedings

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) released its records of 120 disciplinary proceedings for alleged doping offenses that have come under its jurisdiction since April 2017. The report, which details 109 of those cases (11 have suspensions already been served), is being released as a part of its new public disclosure policy “to protect the integrity and reputation of the sport of athletics by prioritizing transparency with regards to its operations and handling of cases.” The list includes 85 Olympic and world champions, 44 continental champions and 35 indoor world champions made up of 103 elites and 13 international athletes. Four officials are also named in the list. Among the 109 names, almost half of them involve Russian athletes. Steeplechase Olympic champion and Paris Diamond League record holder Ruth Jebet is cited on the report. Jebet beat the existing world record in the 3000m steeplechase by more than six seconds. Joining her is Violah Jepchumba, named third fastest woman of all time over the half-marathon distance. The Kenyan-long distance runner is currently fighting a four-year ban after testing positive for EPO. (Sun 5) ⚡AMP
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Jack Robertson continues to amaze, he wins B2B by nearly a minute in extreme humidity

NZL’s Jake Robertson destroyed the competition at the 21st Beach to Beacon 10k Saturday August 4.  His 27:37 is the 3rd fastest ever in Cape Elizabeth. Stephen Sambu was 2nd in 28:26, 2016 champ and Maine native Ben True was a close third clocking 28 :29. Sandra Chebet won the women’s race in 31:20, Ababel Yeshaneh (Eth) 2nd 31:25, Molly Huddle 3rd 31:40. Very humid. Jake Robertson as been training in Kenya for the last few years and continues to run some amazing times.  More than 6,500 runners participated in Maine's biggest road race, which was the brainchild of Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson. Samuelson, a Maine native, won the Boston Marathon in 1979 and went on to win it again in 1983. She took gold in the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, the first time the marathon event was open to women. She created the 6.2-mile race that starts at Crescent Beach State Park and ends at Fort Williams, home to the Portland Head Light. It follows her old training route growing up in Cape Elizabeth.     (Sat 4  (Sat 4) ⚡AMP
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Reigning Cape Town Marathon champion, Asefa Negewu, will return to defend his title this year

An impressive line-up of “golden” athletes, the commitment of ASA to host the national championships in Cape Town and a revival of the Captain’s Challenge were features of the 50-day launch of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon at a city hotel on Wednesday. While Mokoka remains the fastest in the field, boasting a marathon best of 2:07:40, he will be up against a number of talented young African runners bent on following in the footsteps of twice champion, Ethiopian Asefa Negewu, who placed 7th in the London Marathon after winning Cape Town in 2016. Notwithstanding its many other selling points, elite athletes running fast marathon times in Cape Town was the primary reason for the Cape Town Marathon receiving IAAF gold label status within just three years and the participation of IAAF gold-status athletes each year are an essential part of the retention of this status. (Sat 4) ⚡AMP
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Luca Turrini is an Italian born Australian, who has qualified for automatic entry into the Spartathlon 2018

Luca Turrini is an Italian born Australian, who has qualified for automatic entry into the Spartathlon 2018, which will be hosted in Greece in September. He aims to finish within the top five positions and the fastest finishing time for an Australian (28h:12m). The Spartathlon is one of the most difficult and satisfying ultra-distance races in the world because of its unique history and background, race profile, running conditions and strict cut-off times. The field is capped at 390 runners from all around the world, who meet the rigid qualifying criteria. Luca first started running when he moved to Australia at the end of 2008. Having migrated at the peak of the GFC, it was hard to find employment. “I was very stressed and my neighbour suggested I join him for a run. In that first run I only managed to get 2km down the road, but I was immediately hooked and progressed quickly, I quit smoking and changing my lifestyle quite drastically,” Luca said. A few months later, he ran his first half marathon and stuck to shorter distances. When his mother passed away in March 2011, he turned to running, he ran 20 marathons in 29 days across Italy “and from then on, I just kept running!” Luca recalls. In 2017, Luca also entered into the Guinness World Record for the farthest distance run on a treadmill, which has been a highlight in his career. It was a fantastic experience and at the same time a huge mental challenge. Just imagine running for 24 hours on the spot, looking at a dot on a wall 10 meters away from you! The male team broke their record reaching 424.63km, the female team also broke the record with 346.24km and, with only 3 minutes to spare, I broke mine with a 261.18km run.” (Sat 4) ⚡AMP
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Olympian Deena Kastor share her secrets to success in her new book Let Your Mind Run

“When I first became a professional runner, I thought the hardest part would be the physical training. After all, what could be tougher than running to the top of an 11,000-foot peak while trying to fend off a pack of highly trained male distance runners? What could be more taxing than interval workouts so intense you taste blood in the back of your throat? The answer quickly became clear: wrestling with my mind.”—Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory. Most recognize Deena Kastor’s name as one of the best American female road runners in history. Kastor, 45, is the American record holder in the marathon. At one point, she held records in every distance from the 5K to the marathon. She is a three-time Olympian (earning bronze in 2004) and eight-time NCAA All-American. Kastor has just released a new book, Let Your Mind Run, a memoir that dives into the lessons she’s learned throughout her life and running career (which started at age 11) about the importance of mindset, gratitude and how, ultimately, attitude really is everything. Living in Mammoth Lakes, California, Kastor does the majority of her training out her backdoor, in the mountains at 8,050 feet. “I love being on the trails—it’s my happy place,” she says. (Fri 3) ⚡AMP
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Tracy Guerrette hopes to be first Maine women's runner at Beach to Beacon 10K

Ask Tracy Guerrette to define herself as a runner, and she’s reluctant to be specific. “I don’t know,” said the former three-sport standout in High School and basketball player at the University of Maine. “I’m an old-timer, late-to-the-sport runner. Usually a lot of people start when they’re younger at the shorter distances and then work themselves up. You don’t want to start with a marathon too soon because you’ll lose your quickness, you lose those fast-twitch muscles. “I’ve kind of done things backwards. I played team sports all my life and jumped into the marathon and the longer stuff just because I love running a lot. Now I’m working backwards and trying to do those shorter races throughout my buildup during the year to try to get faster.” While the 37-year-old Guerrette’s most notable running accomplishments since resuming a full-steam approach to the discipline in 2014 may involve the 26.2-mile marathon distance — she was the first Maine woman and 25th among 13,391 women overall at this year’s Boston Marathon — much shorter races also are of particular interest. At the top of that list is Saturday’s TD Beach to Beacon 10K, the world-class event established by 1984 Olympic marathon gold medalist Joan Benoit-Samuelson in her hometown of Cape Elizabeth. (Fri 3) ⚡AMP
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Des Linden will run the New Balance Falmouth Road Race on August 19 for the first time

Des Linden, who in April became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years, will run the New Balance Falmouth Road Race on August 19 for the first time. She will serve as Official Starter for the Women’s Elite Race, then jump into the Open Race and run with the masses. “The Falmouth Road Race has been on my bucket list for a long time,” said Linden, 35. “I’m excited to finally participate this year, enjoy the scenic course, and celebrate the race’s great history with the other 12,799 runners on the road.” Since Linden’s historic victory – in arguably the worst conditions in Boston’s 122-year history, with torrential rains and a pounding headwind – the two-time Olympic marathoner has crisscrossed the country making appearances that have included presenting Taylor Swift with her statuette as Best Female Artist at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. After her Falmouth run, she plans to focus on training for the TCS New York City Marathon, on November 4. “Like Meb Keflezighi in 2014, Des Linden has won a place in our hearts for all time with her gutsy win in Boston,” said Geoff Nickerson, president of the Falmouth Road Race, Inc. board of directors. “To be able to give our runners and our community the chance to not only meet Des but to run alongside her is an honor.” (Fri 3) ⚡AMP
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The Run The World Challenge is not over until it is over, until we login 24,901 miles says team leader Bob Anderson

The Run The World Challenge is one of the longest running events on the planet.  “Our team will log in enough miles to circle the world, that is 24,901 miles,” says team leader Bob Anderson.  A team can not be no larger than 200 active runners.  “Our team needed members to run miles in at least 20 different countries (we have logged in miles in 29 countries). We also had to at least have one runner in each age group (14 and under, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39,40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79 and 80 plus).  We met all these Run The World Challenge standards,” says Bob.  The goal was to do this in 30 days.  “What we did not know is that with a team this size, things happen, injuries, work and family situations, life challenges, or just running out of time to log.  So after 30 days our team has logged in 19,600 miles,” Bob says.  This team is 78.7% of the way around the globe. “Our team of 163 active runners are amazing.” Willie Korir from Kenya is the leader and has been running two to four times per day to login his 630 miles.  That is 21 miles per day.  Jen Baylis from the US has logged in 465.34 miles with Grace Padilla right behind her with 464 miles.  25 members of the team has logged in 200 miles or more.  45 have logged 150 miles or more and 85 a hundred or more.  “One of our team members, Michael Wardian (photo) logged in 100.5 miles in one day.  No, we are not finished. We are not finished until we reach 24,901 miles,” says Bob.  Maybe during the next challenge a team will reach 24,901 miles in 30 days.  The next Run The World Challenge starts August 29.  “In the meantime we are continuing until we reach our goal. We are hoping to reach it within 40 days or in ten more days,” says Bob Anderson.   (Thu 2) ⚡AMP
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Adam Holland continue to dominate the Great Barrow Challenge 10 in 10, that's ten marathons in ten days

The Great Barrow 10 in 10 Challenge, an annual event featuring 10 marathons in 10 consecutive days, was made even tougher by the brutally hot conditions, which were relentless throughout the whole series of races. But once again there was no stopping the remarkable Adam Holland, who celebrated his 10th official 10 marathons in 10 days event by again completely dominating on each stage. This was the fifth staging of the Great Barrow 10 in 10 Challenge event, first held back in 2014. Holland explained: “Day five was one of the toughest marathons I have had to do. We didn’t start until 10am, due to health and safety reasons on one of the roads, so we were running at the hottest time of the day, with not much shade on the course. “Running 10 marathons in 10 days is not just a physical strain; it’s the mental strain as well, to get around all these marathons.” (Thu 2) ⚡AMP
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Gladys Cherono of Kenya will put her title on the line at the Berlin Marathon on Sept. 16

Defending champion Gladys Cherono of Kenya will put her title on the line as she confronts multiple world and Olympic gold medalist Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia and Edna Kiplagat at the Berlin Marathon on Sept. 16. Organizers have assembled some of the fastest women in women marathon with hope that they will make a serious attempt to lower the world record, which has stood since 2003. "The elite women's field for the Berlin Marathon is the strongest for many years. We proudly present Tirunesh Dibaba, Gladys Cherono and Edna Kiplagat. This will be a thrilling race," the organizers said in a statement. Cherono will be keen to make it three wins in four attempts after clinching the gold medal in the German capital in 2015 and 2017 while Kiplagat has won twice the world title and celebrated numerous wins at the Boston Marathon. Just like Dibaba, Kiplagat will be making her debut in Berlin. "Berlin is calling. Pleased to announce my next destination. Looking forward to running fast time," said Kiplagat. However, focus will be on 32-year-old Dibaba, who has three Olympic gold medals and nine world titles on the track and cross country. The Ethiopian has a marathon personal best time of 2:17:56. That time, which she set when finishing second at last year's London Marathon, makes her the third fastest woman in history. Dibaba is keen to beat this time in Berlin and, given ideal weather conditions, might even get close to the world record of 2:15:25, set by Paula Radcliffe in 2003. Cherono regained the Berlin Marathon title last year in 2:20:23, having won in 2015 with a best time of 2:19:25. (Thu 2) ⚡AMP
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USA Track & Field is expected to name the University of Oregon's Hayward Field in Eugene as the site for the 2020 U.S. Olympic trials

USA Track & Field is expected to name the University of Oregon's Hayward Field in Eugene as the site for the 2020 U.S. Olympic trials, according to a source with direct knowledge of the decision. The announcement is expected soon, perhaps as early as Thursday. The source was not authorized to discuss the decision and requested anonymity. Calls to TrackTown USA, the Eugene local organizing committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee were referred to USA Track & Field. USATF spokeswoman Jill Geer declined comment. Eugene has staged the Olympic trials six previous times, including in 2008, 2012 and 2016. This would be the first major meet at the reconstructed Hayward Field. The stadium has been torn down and will be rebuilt. The project is expected to be completed in April 2020. (Thu 2) ⚡AMP
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Global Run Challenge Profile: Not only does running keep me sober, it helps me feel balanced says Henry Ward

RUN THE WORLD:  Henry Ward has been sober since November 17, 2008 and after his son was born in March of 2012 he noticed he was becoming squirrelly. "Even though I wasn't drinking or using," Henry says.  "I became restless. Sort of like a dry drunk. I knew I needed to do something."  He was going to visit a friend and Henry asked what they were going to do.  "My friend was thinking about running a 8k race.  He said he would run if I did. I said sign me up! I didn't even know how far an 8k was," Henry remembers.  "I hated every step of that race, and vowed never to run again. Every time a runner past me, I was angry. I honestly wanted to trip or elbow all runners I saw.  But when I finished, I received a glass medallion.  I also had a feeling that I will never forget.  A feeling of accomplishment, and happiness, that prompted me to seek out another race as we drove back to my friend's house." Henry signed up for another 5k the following weekend and then a 4 miler.  He was hooked. Henry is from Boston and currently lives in Tempe, Arizona.  He is married and has a 6-year-old son. "Family is always first, running comes second," he says.  He is a chef by trade.  "I get to sweat, lift things and log 30,000 steps at work alone!  Plus eat!  I love to eat.  I eat 4000 calories a day," Henry says.  "I run to survive, to help me deal with life on life's terms.  When I run and exercise I feel alive and it helps my day flow. If I didn't find running I would be a neurotic mess."  He loves how he feels during and after running.  "The Runner's high, and endorphin kick was like no other. I am thankful that I found running, and it has changed my life for the better. Not only does it keep me sober and it helps me feel balanced," he says.  He believes that anyone can change, if they want to.  "If I can change, anyone can!  I have come along way, but know that I still have a lot of work to do on my personal character defects."   He moved up from the 5K to doing ultras.  In 2017 he completed the 250K six day stage race, 4deserts Patagonia.  In 2018 he did the Boston Quad which is running the Boston Marathon four consecutive times.  "The official marathon was number four. We had snow, freezing rain, 50 mile an hour winds and torrential downpours," Henry says.  He wants to help inspire others and motivate many along the way.  That is one of the reasons he joined the Run The World Challenge.  "I think the challenge is really cool because I get to connect with people who are doing the same thing for different reasons, and people from around the world."  He has two 100 mile races coming up and he hopes to qualify for the 2019 Badwater 135 race in death valley.   (Wed 1) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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James Fleming, who was hit by a bus and survived, is going to run the Great North Run

James Fleming was hit by a bus and survived.  He is now set to tackle his second Great North Run in aid of a lifeline charity. James,20, suffered severe head injuries in the accident in 2009 and despite doctors predicting he would never walk or talk again, he has made an incredible recovery and is lacing up his shoes for UK’s biggest half marathon. He will be attempting to beat his previous record time of 1hr 48mins and aims to raise £500 for The Sick Children’s Trust. The charity, which supports families with seriously ill children. James’ parents, Tracy and Ken were supported at Crawford House in Newcastle when he was rushed to the specialist Royal Victoria Infirmary following the horrific accident. Despite a grim prognosis, with the help of intense physiotherapy and speech therapy, James has overcome the challenges set against him and leads a mostly independent life. He is now a qualified lifeguard, fitness instructor and is an employee at Curry’s PC world. James, who ran the Great North Run for the first time in 2016, says, “I feel more confident this time round and I’m aiming to complete the race in 1h 35 mins." (Wed 1) ⚡AMP
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Defending champion Ethiopian Marta Megra will be on the start line of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Marta Megra of Ethiopia announced her return to the marathon on Wednesday morning. Megra walked away with $25,000 CAD after winning last year’s race. Megra reportedly said, “This year I am in good condition, good shape so hopefully I will go slower the first half,” she says. “My goal is to run my personal best in Toronto and to improve the course record.” The current course record is 2:22:43 and the women who breaks the record walks away with an extra $40,000 CAD. Megra’s personal best is 2:24:08, which she will have to lower to catch the course record. This summer could potentially see the men’s and women’s Canadian soil records fall, as Canadian marathon events have become some of the best in the world. (Wed 1) ⚡AMP
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Lila Planavsky sets eyes on 100-mile race after winning a 50 Mile Trail Race

Lila Planavsky loves a challenge, especially when it comes to running. So much in fact that after competing in, and winning, the Minnesota Voyageur 50 Mile Trail Ultramarathon in Duluth, Minn., last week, Planavsky is setting out to conquer a new challenge — a 100-mile race. The 37-year-old La Crosse, Wisc (US) native finished her most recent 50-miler, which was the third of her career, in 9 hours, 14 minutes. The runner’s portfolio consists of major races like the Boston Marathon, but her newest adventure comes as she prepares for the Superior 100 Mile Trail Race in Lutsen, Minn. “I just love a challenge,” said Planavsky, who moved back to La Crosse from Milwaukee four years ago. “I love seeing what I can do and realizing that we can be stronger and faster than we think we are, and it’s also just a lot of fun.” Before finding fun in running distance races, Planavsky used the sport as a way to clear her head and reduce the stress that came with being a special education teacher in Milwaukee. “I started running more to get my mind in the right place,” she said. (Wed 1) ⚡AMP
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Jordan Hasay is Back and she is Ready to race the Chicago Marathon in October

Jordan Hasay was projected to be one of the top contenders to break a 33-year U.S. title streak at the Boston Marathon in April, but the 26-year-old was forced to withdraw from the nation’s oldest marathon the night before the event due to a stress fracture in her calcaneus bone. With a month of cross-training and a slow but steady build-up under her belt, she’s back to 100-mile weeks with her sights firmly set on breaking Deena Kastor’s American record at this fall’s Chicago Marathon. How did she do it? Swimming, spin class and hot yoga, she says when she was finally cleared to start running again in mid-May.  “I’ve been a pretty good swimmer my entire life—my mom was a swimmer—so whenever I do get injured, or have little aches and pains, I just go to the pool,” she said. “Overall, I just kept it pretty easy. I did do a marathon build-up so even though I didn’t race Boston, I still needed some kind of break.” Hasay admits it was tough not to go hard every single day in cross-training, since she was “frustrated” with her injury and having to withdraw from Boston, which had been her focus for the better part of six months. (Wed 1) ⚡AMP
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Global Run Challenge Profile: I get energy spreading through my entire body when I run says Malin Andersson

RUN THE WORLD: Malin Andersson has been running with her parents since she could walk.  "My brother and I biked next to my parents while they ran, then we started running with them and later they were biking next to us while we were running," says 31-year-old Malin who lives outside of Stockholm, Sweden.  She is co-owner of an important running website. "World's Marathons is an international marketplace for running events.  We help bring more international runners to running events," she says.  "We are driven by a team of dedicated tech and business talents based out of Sweden with offices in Lisbon and Jamaica."  She says she runs today just for herself to take good care of herself.  "I get energy spreading through my entire body when I run.  I love running mostly without feeling any pressure of having to perform," she says.  "At this point, I am not clocking myself since I am high performing in my business projects.  I enjoy running and love being out on the trails in the Swedish woods. The Swedish woods is one of my favorite place to run."  “Malin and I met in Paris in May,” says Bob Anderson.  “We decided to work together on several running related projects (My Best Runs and World’s Marathons).”  They did not talk about the Run The World Challenge because it had not been "born" yet.  "I think it is amazing how Bob Anderson have made Run The World Global Run Challenge happen in such a short time and being able to set this up with all these enthusiastic passionate people joining," Malin says.  (Photo taken during a meeting in Paris May 2018. Malin, Jean-Loup Fenaux (founder of Ahotu - an important running website) and Bob Anderson.  Earlier Malin and Bob met up with Paris Running Tours and ran from Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower. (Tue 31) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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24-year-old Alex Brant has been running for 15 years and just ran seven marathons in one week

It's only been dark for a few hours when the dreaded hotel alarm clock buzzes in the wee hours of the morning in Saint Joseph, Mo. By this day, Alex Brant's body is exhausted — the 24-year-old speech therapist is about to run her seventh marathon in seven days, all in separate states — but she has something special to look forward to this day. It's her last marathon of the trip and this time she's running it with her mom, Michelle. The Brants are excited for the race and it's all smiles at the starting line despite a start time of 3:30 a.m. Soon the marathon is underway. It's easier than the day before for Alex, who knows the end is near and is enjoying the company of her biggest fan. Halfway through the race, Michelle sends Alex ahead to finish on her own, but after she's done, Alex goes back to finish with her mom too. What else was she going to do after running more than 183 miles in a week? "That was a really really cool experience," Alex said two weeks after accomplishing the feat. "I am far more proud of my mom than anything I accomplished that week." Growing up, Brant was never the best runner on her junior high or high school track and cross country teams. She didn't even want to run competitively in college, so she joined a club cross country team at Penn State instead. But that hasn't stopped Brant from setting seemingly impossible goals for herself, and meeting them along the way. She started running at 9 years old and hasn't really stopped since. A native of Pittsburgh, Brant ran her first marathon at 19 and, to her surprise, won her age group and qualified for the Boston Marathon in her first attempt. Her time of 3 hours, 33 minutes, in the 2014 Pittsburgh Marathon just beat the cutoff mark for her age group by two minutes. "It was still to this day the best day of my life," Brant said. "It was really surreal that I had been essentially training for that since I was 9 years old. I knew that I wanted to run as far as I could and in that moment, my body just sort of clicked that day." (Tue 31) ⚡AMP
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Luke Traynor, is seeking support in his bid to compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo

A Glasgow (UK) athlete is seeking support in his bid to compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Luke Traynor recently became the fifth fastest Briton over 10km, since the year 2000 clocking 28:32, just four seconds behind fellow Scot Andrew Butchart, and 48 seconds behind multiple Olympic medal winner Sir Mo Farah. Yet in spite of rubbing shoulders with some of the country's top athletes, Luke, 24, cannot find a sponsor which would allow him to leave his part-time job and take part in more high-profile competitions. Luke says, "I've been running really well and posting some really good times, so it is a little bit frustrating, not to have a sponsor. "I’ve been working part-time to fund training and to fund travelling to races. I’m completely self-funded."  Having financial support would make everything a that lot more smooth.  "I’d be able to receive more physio treatment, more regular massage, not worry about having to update trainers regularly and getting the appropriate kit. It would be able to take me up another level, and make me race even better. I turn 25 this week and I’m still living at home - that’s my way to fund this career." (Tue 31) ⚡AMP
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Kenyan Edna Kiplagat is set to make history at the 2018 Berlin Marathon

Edna Kiplagat, upon finishing the Berlin Marathon in September, will become the first-ever elite able-bodied woman to finish all six world major marathons. A person who has finished all six of the world majors is known as a six star finisher. The world majors include: Tokyo, Chicago, New York, Berlin, Boston and London. Kiplagat has had an incredible marathon career. She won the New York City marathon in 2010, the London Marathon in 2014, and Boston in 2017. She was runner-up at Chicago three years in a row, and at London in 2016. To round it all off, she placed third at Tokyo in 2016. If Kiplagat can manage to come top three in Berlin, she will also be the only able-bodied woman to podium at all six of the world majors. Kiplagat will face tough competition in Berlin.Rounding out the women’s elite field is Berlin Marathon defending champion, Gladys Cherono. Cherono has a personal best of 2:19.25 and also won Berlin in 2015. (Tue 31) ⚡AMP
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Global Run Challenge Profile: Running is an outlet for my highly competitive personality says Dave Ross

RUN THE WORLD:  "Running is my social network. Pretty much everyone that I'm connected to I met through running," says Dave Ross.  But it didn’t start this way.  As a kid he was pretty much a nerd,  very shy and definitely a bookworm, not athletic at all.  "I turned out for the cross country team my freshman year of high school to make friends," he says.  He ended up being a four year letterman in cross country and team captain his senior year and was awarded a scholarship to run cross country in college. Running has remained a major part of his life.  "I don't think that I'd miss training if I couldn't run, but I'd definitely miss racing. Running is an outlet for my highly competitive personality. I love racing and watching others race. My knowledge of the sport gives me access to getting hired to help with commentary for some of the best races and track meets in the world," says Dave.  In 1996 he ran 2:36:57 at the Portland Marathon training 50 miles weekly.   Some of Dave's best times include 15:35 5K, 53:54 10 miles, and 1:12:57 for the half marathon.  Dave works for Kaiser Permanente in the Portland area. He has two grown children.  "My wife Stephanie (also a runner) and I live in Beaverton, Oergon and we do a lot of our running around Nike World Headquarters."  I asked him about the present running scene in the US.  "I think that it's on a pretty impressive upswing. Now that there is drug testing that's leveling the international playing field Americans are more competitive than ever," he says.  "Folks are catching on and following the idea of structured training groups. The Bowerman Track Club, The Nike Oregon Project and groups like the Brooks Hansons are leading the way in American development."  So why did Dave join our Run The World Challenge?  "I think that it's a cool idea. It's neat to see so many people come together toward a common goal," Dave commented. (Tue 31) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba has been confirmed for the 45th annual BMW Berlin Marathon

The third fastest female marathoner of all-time will face previous winners Gladys Cherono and Edna Kiplagat in the German capital. Tirunesh Dibaba has been confirmed in elite women’s field for the 45th edition of the 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon, which takes place on September 16. The 32-year-old, who has won three gold medals at consecutive Olympic Games (2008 and 2012) and five World Championships from 2003 to 2013, will be joined by Kenyan athletes Gladys Cherono and Edna Kiplagat, who have both won twice in the German capital before, and fellow Ethiopian Aselefech Mergia. All four athletes have personal bests under 2:20 making it the strongest women’s field for many years. Defending champion Eliud Kipchoge is among the leading entries in the men’s field, which was announced in June. Dibaba, one of the best female distance runners of all time and the third fastest in the history, will start as the favorite, and also has a point to prove after dropping out of the London Marathon in April. (Tue 31) ⚡AMP
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Felicien Muhitira Retains his Marvejols-Mende Half Marathon Title

Rwanda international long distance and cross country runner Felicien Muhitira has won the French race Marvejols-Mende half marathon for a second consecutive time. Muhitira successfully defended the title at the 46th edition of the annual event on Sunday, which he had won last year on his maiden attempt. The 22.4-kilometre race was contested by over 5000 athletes from around the world, with Mountain Classic Athletics runner Muhitira being the only Rwandan in the competition. The 24-year old rose to the occasion, beating stiff competition from Kenyan, Ugandan and Ethiopian elite athletes to retain his gold medal. The former Nyamasheke Athletics Club runner clocked 1 hour, 11 minutes and 22 seconds; 89 seconds ahead of Kenya's John Liotang who finished second. (Tue 31) ⚡AMP
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Our goal was to log enough miles to circle the globe in 30 days, that's 24,901 miles

Day 27 of of Run The World Global Run Challenge is coming to an end soon.  Our Mission is to celebrate running, motivate our team, inspire others and reach our goal.  As of right now our team has logged in 17,432 miles.  Our team ranging in age from 11 to 82 have run miles in 29 different countries.  26-year-old Willie Korir from Kenya has logged in the most miles with 553.18. The top American is 74-year-old Frank Bozanich who has logged 407 miles.  Jen Bayliss (US) is the top female with 265.24 miles.  Grace Padilla (also 47) is close behind with 238.99 miles.  74 of our team has hit the magic number, which is to log in 100 or more miles in 30 days and we have ten more who can reach that goal too.  The 5 mile a day average (which is 150 miles in 30 days) already has 34 in that group and another ten can achieve that mark as well.  There are a lot of stats to look at and we will share more later.  I am so proud of what our team has achieved.  There are so many wonderful inspiring stories to tell.  Our Run The World feed and our My Best Runs profile tell just some of the stories.  Many more to tell.  The big question is, are we going to make our goal?  We still could, but 30 days is up at the end of day Thursday.  In any case, we are going to reach our goal.  It could take us 40 days but we are going to do it.  Once we hit our goal we will record the days, hours and minutes (based on PDT) that it took us.  This will be the standard that we will go after on our next Run The World Challenge starting August 29.  In fact it would be fun to have two teams to challenge each other.  In any case, we are going to run a celebration lap (about 400m) this Sunday at our Golden Gate Double 8K and Ujena 5k/3k event.  It will be right before our awards.  We still need 7,477 miles to reach our goal.  Sounds like a big number by end of day Thursday or even by Sunday but I am hopeful.  Thanks for your support.  Bob Anderson, Run The World Challenge Team Leader.  (Mon 30) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Belay Tilahun wins the Bix 7, the first time an Ethiopian has won this race

Belay Tilahun of Ethiopia wins the Quad-City Times Bix 7. Tilahun finished second in 2016. Margaret Muriuki of Kenya captured the 2018 women's Quad-City Times Bix 7 on Saturday.  Belay Tilahun pulled away in the final mile to claim the victory, In a winning time of 32:37, Tilahun became the first runner from Ethiopia to win the Bix 7. “I’m very happy,” Tilahun told KWQC after beating NCAA 10K champion Ben Flanagan and 2016 U.S. Olympian Leonard Korir down the final stretch. Kipruto finished fifth and Mekonen crossed the line a few seconds later in sixth-place. Tilahun became the first Ethiopian man ever to win the Bix 7 after several near-misses in the past. Reigning NCAA 10,000-meter champion Ben Flanagan recorded the highest finish ever by a Canadian in the race, crossing the line in second place. Andrew Colley of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, took fourth, the highest an American has placed in an international field at Bix since Meb Keflezighi was third in 2013. It’s the highest a native-born American has finished since Ken Martin won the race in 1991. Colley was one of four Americans in the top 10. It’s the first time that has happened since that same 1991 race. But all of them were mere footnotes to Tilahun, who showed interviewers with hand gestures how he navigated the incessant hills of the course and was able to convey the fact that it helped him to have run Bix once before. Ethiopians have been very close to winning the Bix 7 in the past. Tilahun was second behind three-time winner Silas Kipruto in 2016 and Solomon Deksisa took second the year before that. In one of the strangest episodes in Bix history, Ethiopia’s Maregu Zewdie was leading coming down 4th Street in the 2008 Bix but stopped after crossing under the skywalk at the Davenport RiverCenter, thinking that was the finish line. Kenya’s Edward Muge zoomed past him to win. He had a small lead on Flanagan and the rest of the pack coming down Kirkwood in the fifth mile of the race when he decided to just take control. In what seemed little more than a blink of the eye, he opened about a 7-second margin over Flanagan. Stream TypeLIVE Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% 0:00 Fullscreen   00:00 Mute“I don’t know if surprised is the word but I was impressed,’’ said Flanagan, who just completed his college career at the University of Michigan last month. “I knew coming in here there was a lot of really experienced runners who knew the course well. That was very evident by that move. (Mon 30) ⚡AMP
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Yuki Kawauchi wins his seventh Kushiro Shitsugen 30K

Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi, winner of this year’s Boston Marathon, won the 46th running of the Kushiro Shitsugen 30K on Sunday. His time was 1:34:34, and it was Kawauchi’s seventh win at this event. His nearest rival was Yoshiki Koizumi, who finished in 1:35:05, and finishing in third place was Hiroki Kai, in 1:35:51. Kawauchi skipped this race last year to prepare for the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, where he finished ninth, in 2:12:19. Geoffrey Kirui was the winner of that event, as well as last year’s Boston Marathon, and it was Kirui who Kawauchi defeated at Boston this year, in torrential rain and driving wind. (Mon 30) ⚡AMP
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Ethiopian´s Netsanet Gudeta takes impressive victory in Bogota

Ethiopians Netsanet Gudeta and Betesfa Getahun produced convincing victories at 19th edition of the Bogota Half Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race. Gudeta dominated the race through the high altitude streets of the Colombian capital, winning by more than four minutes in 1:11:34, but falling short of the 1:10:39 course record set by Susan Chepkemei back in 2004. It was nonetheless a strong performance by Gudeta given Bogota's setting at 2600m above sea level, and the day's sunny, hot and windy conditions. This was the 27-year-old's third half marathon victory in as many races over the distance this year, following up her 1:06:11 women's-only race world record at the World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia in March, and a dominating 1:07:30 run in Olomouc, Czech Republic, five weeks ago. A turning point in the race came just before the five-kilometre mark. Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, the winner last year, took a tumble and fell to the ground. Gudeta forged on on her own from there to finish unchallenged. Kosgei was second in 1:14:40, with Degitu Azimeraw of Ethiopia third in 1:14:51. (Mon 30) ⚡AMP
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Mark Inman, ex-soldier left with PTSD by Afghanistan violence wants to run 22 half-marathons in 22 days

A former soldier battling post traumatic stress disorder is to take on a massive half-marathon challenge. One half-marathon would be enough for most people, but Mark Inman wants to run 22 in 22 days to raise awareness of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He says he finds running helps him fight his own demons and deal with the condition. Mark is taking on the '22 for 22' challenge in October which coincides with the launch of his first book titled 'Squad Average' talking about his life with PTSD. In the book, the 42-year-old talks about his 10 years in the army where he had an exemplary military record before leaving to spend three years as a private bodyguard for government officials in Afghanistan. It was in this role that Mark was shot and had to return home where he faced two years of operations to fix him physically. However, he also had to deal with the mental scars of his experiences in Afghanistan, not just his shooting, but witnessing suicide bombings and being injured twice more, including in a roadside bomb attack. Mark talks openly in his book about his diagnosis of PTSD and his ongoing mental health battle but also about the positivity he now has for life with his loving family supporting him and a job he enjoys. (Mon 30) ⚡AMP
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Global Run Challenge Profile: Kiranpal only jogged and never competed until he was sixty and now regularly places in his age division

RUN THE WORLD: Kiranpal Singh Dhody (62) has lived in Mumbai India since 1976. He is married and has three children.  "My son is now 25 and has recently joined me in my business," says Kiranpal, "giving me much wanted relief to concentrate on my running."  Kiranpal was a fitness freak from an early age and would jog regularly in the morning but never did any racing.  "Some boys, seeing me running on the tracks for hours every day, told me to take part in road races."  So at the age of 60 he started running races and started winning prizes.  "At that point I realized that I have some endurance and power within me and can compete well with the other runners."   He has participated in many road races 10k, 21k and has placed in his age-group many times.  "My Personal Best being Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in Nov 2016 clocking 1:43:40 getting 4th place in my age category." The same year he ran the New Delhi 10k Challenge clocking 46:20 a personal best.  "But the one I love most is SCMM ( Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon/Half Marathon) the biggest marathon event of India," he says.  In 2017 he finished fifth in his age-group clocking 1:49:24 for the half. "Since the last two years I started participating in Masters Athletics Championship and won Silver and Bronze medals in 10,000m and 5,000m and got selected for the Asia Masters Athletic Championship." Running is very important to him.  "I get up every morning at 4:30 am and reach the tracks by 5:45am to start my daily practice by 6:00 am."  So what is his secret I asked? "Secret to my success lies in being regular at the Sports Authority of India ground every morning at 6:00 am, except Sunday (being my rest day), dedication to running, determination and punctuality. Not eating any junk or processed foods or aerated drinks. I eat a lot of fruits in the morning and also in the evening, I eat green vegetables, sprouts, dry fruits, nuts, and juices."  I asked him why he joined our challenge.   "Mr. Bob, you have done a very good thing by creating this Run The World event where we can all become examples for the young and old people so that they can also start running and thus improve their lifestyles,"  Kiranpal said. After getting his MBA and working for his brother for awhile he started his own business, Automobile Spare parts.  "We are a wholesaler trading in spare parts for vehicles. My business is about 40K away from my residence and every morning after my workout is over I have to travel by local train.  The train is crowded and takes over an hour to reach my destination.  Being tired, many times I sleep in the train and do the same thing on my return back home in the evening."   (Sun 29) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Barabara Fieberg, who once struggled to do 5km shows women how to go the distance later in life

A Western Australian long-distance runner set to compete at the world ultramarathon championships hopes she can inspire other women to take up the sport. German-born nurse Barbara Fieberg only took up competitive running after her 40th birthday, admitting she previously struggled to run around the block. She has now completed 24 ultramarathons and is in training to represent Australia at the world championships in Croatia in September. Competitors will race over 100 kilometres — the equivalent of more than two full marathons. Seven men and seven women will represent Australia in Sveti Martin, following paths used a century ago by Croatian farm workers who regularly went on 100km errands. Never too late to take up running,she said. Ms Fieberg never believed she would have been capable of achieving what she had in the sport. "It would be great if I could inspire anyone to give it a go and a try," she said. (Sat 28) ⚡AMP
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Global Run Challenge Profile: Courtney Heiner started off as a 300m hurdler and became a 1500m National Champion

RUN THE WORLD: Courtney Heiner didn't make the high school basketball team, so she decided to do track instead. "I started off as a 300 meter hurdler my sophomore year," says Courtney. "By my senior year, I started to really have a passion for running." Her coach convinced her to run cross country the fall of 2008.  "That season we made it to the California State meet with only five varsity runners.  It was definitely an experience that I will never forget," she remembers.  She later met Jeanette Powless, the    women’s distance coach at American River College. "Jeanette really took me under her wing and showed me how to steeplechase.  After two years at American River, Jeanette helped me get a scholarship to Cal State Stanislaus and put me in contact with coach Taylor. "There she became a five time All American and a National Champion in the women's 1500m.  Now Courtney nuns for the Strava Track Club coached by Dena Evans.  " Dena is always so positive and we both know there’s more in the tank.  Hopefully, over this next year I can work hard to get one step closer to my goals." Running is extremely important to her however,  "I think its always important to maintain a balance.  During heavy training blocks I run six days a week.  I almost always take Sundays off.  This helps me recover physically and mentally for the week," she says.  I asked her what is her goal?  "My ultimate running goal would be to qualify for USA Outdoor Championships in the steeplechase.  There’s no doubt that it seems like a lofty goal, and sometimes it feels so far out of reach, but if you don’t dream big, then you miss out on a lot of incredible opportunities along the way.   "Besides running and coaching she also works full time at her family business, they pretty much put a logo on anything. "It’s called A4 Promotions and we specialize in branded merchandise," she says.  Courtney and her husband also enjoy spending time in the mountains.  So why did she join this challenge? "The Run the World Challenge is so cool and its really neat to be apart of it.  It’s so unique and that’s what really attracted me to it.  Its incredible to bring runners together to run 24,901 miles collectively. It’s been awesome to read about other runners and their story."                         (Sat 28) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Roy Englert Sets Age 95 World Record

Roy Englert, 95, has set a world record in the men’s 800 at the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships. Englert, of Springfield, VA/Potomac Valley Track Club, finished in 5:18.15, a huge improvement over the previous world record of 6:02.95. Over 900 of the nation’s best Masters athletes were participating in events being held at Eastern Washington University. Englert had earlier this year set age group records at the USATF Masters Indoor Champions. (Sat 28) ⚡AMP
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A seasoned ultra-marathon runner share her experience of training while pregnant

Staying fit in this heatwave is tough, but I have little to complain about next to my wife, Eleni, who is pregnant. This is her experience: Serena Williams was eight weeks’ pregnant when she won the Australian Open last year. Social media and newspapers exploded with commentary, declaring that her win “proves you can do almost anything while pregnant”. I’m 38 weeks’ pregnant and wish this was true. But the only thing Williams proved is that she could win her 23rd Grand Slam while pregnant. Funny how being the greatest athlete of all time lends itself to being the greatest pregnant athlete of all time. One of the key challenges of my pregnancy was finding out what was right for me, in a culture that too often assumes that one idea fits everyone. An equally false narrative, according to Michelle Mottola, director of the Exercise and Pregnancy Laboratory at Western University in Canada, is that pregnancy is a time to kick back, do nothing and eat. “These are the worst things a pregnant woman can do,” she says. Dr Mottola, who helped develop a standard template to best determine fitness plans in pregnancy, added: “We usually suggest ‘do not eat for two, but eat twice as healthy’. We also suggest ways to increase daily physical activity by parking farther away or taking the stairs.” I was taken aback by the intense opinions on my decisions about exercise. These seemed to be at two extremes: “You can do anything!” versus “You’re endangering your baby!” Now, with two weeks until my due date, I’m very good at the “smile, nod, ignore” protocol. Running is my sanity. I have completed six ultra-marathons of 100km or more. I knew at the outset of my pregnancy that I’d want to stay as fit as possible. (Sat 28) ⚡AMP
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Kenya's Lawrence Cherono says he will do everything in his power to retain his Amsterdam Marathon crown

Kenya's Lawrence Cherono says he will do everything in his power to retain his Amsterdam Marathon crown and deny Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele the title. The two are expected to compete at this year's race, which will be held on Oct 21 and Cherono believes he has played the underdog card before and surprised his critics when he won in the Dutch capital last year. "Last year, I was very happy with the result. I immediately knew that I will come under focus this year and though I had not known who to face, I will be happy to battle it out with Bekele and win again," Cherono said on Tuesday in Eldoret. Of the nine marathons Cherono has contested, he has won four and finished on the podium in eight. Alongside winning in Amsterdam last year he also finished second in Rotterdam with a time of 2:06:21. The Amsterdam Marathon has always attracted a strong group of elite runners and the 2018 race will be no different. Bekele, a multiple world and Olympic champion announced last week that he will skip the big city marathons to compete in Amsterdam, which is an IAAF Gold Label road race. The Ethiopian distance runner owns the second-fastest marathon performance in history on a record-eligible course, having clocked a national record of 2:03:03 to win the 2016 Berlin Marathon. His time is just six seconds shy of Dennis Kimetto's world record (2:02:57). Bekele, who will be contesting his first marathon on Dutch soil, will be up against Cherono and a horde of other top Kenyan and Ethiopian road racers. "Kenenisa Bekele is one of the world's best long-distance runners," said race director Cees Pronk. "We are incredibly proud that Bekele will be lining up at the start on Oct 21. Bekele decided to run in Amsterdam because he has experienced the expert organization of the event and knows first-hand that the athletes always come first." (Fri 27) ⚡AMP
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Two years ago Silas Kipruto was leading the Bix 7 when suddenly he whirled around and took a swipe at Mekonen, now they are friends

When it happened along Kirkwood Boulevard two years ago, it became national news in the running world. Silas Kipruto was loping along, leading the Quad-City Times Bix 7 as he has so often through the years, when he suddenly whirled around and took a right-handed swipe at young Teshome Mekonen, who was running directly behind him. It’s just not the sort of thing you see in road racing. No one could recall seeing anything like it. Not in the Bix 7. Not in any race. Mekonen filed a post-race protest that was denied because the incident did not have an impact on the outcome. Kipruto did not even make contact with his swing. Here’s the happy news: Kipruto and Mekonen have become friends, buddies pals. "Brothers," Kipruto said as he stood outside one of the townhouses on the St. Ambrose University campus Thursday afternoon. "We were friends before," he added. "But I came to him after the race, and now we are friends like brothers, really good friends." Chances are, they shared a plate or two of ugali in the kitchen area at St. Ambrose on Thursday night. They may run the Bix course together today in preparation for Saturday’s 44th annual race. Kipruto, who is 11 years older at 33 and much more familiar with the Davenport race, may even give his pal a few pointers on how to navigate the hills of Bix. "We hang around together," Mekonen said. "We have a good time." It’s somewhat unusual because Kipruto is from Kenya and Mekonen is from Ethiopia. Runners from the two neighboring east African countries have a history of being less than friendly as they battle for supremacy in races across the U.S. (Fri 27) ⚡AMP
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Dean Karnazes is set to run the San Francisco Marathon 52.4-mile ultra, an event he started years ago

The San Francisco Ultramarathon is two full marathons; certainly enough to warrant a ride home. Yet, on the day of the event’s first year, Dean Karnazes, one of its creators, ran about three marathons. Karnazes, who still resides on the Kentfield/Ross border, ran to the Embarcadero for the start of the inaugural ultra seven years ago. Following the 52.4-mile feat, he headed home, on foot, reaching the Golden Gate Bridge before the lure of a passing bus was too enticing. Altogether, Karnazes estimates he ran between 75 and 80 miles in the 12-hour period. Karnazes, who has watched the event grow from eight people in its first year, is one of about 100 runners set to embark on the San Francisco Ultramarathon, which begins at 11 p.m. Saturday. The ultra, originally titled “Worth The Hurt,” is a fundraiser, with participants either raising $1,000 for a charity of their choice or paying a higher entrance fee, donating the difference to the race’s featured charities. The first loop begins in front of the Ferry Building Marketplace. The course is the San Francisco Marathon backward — sans the trek over the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County — and includes navigating through overflowing bars in the Mission District and Haight-Ashbury. Runners finish, eat, change into dry clothes and often nap, then join the 9,000 marathoners at 5:30 a.m. There are expected to be 27,500 total participants in the ultra, marathon, both half marathons and 5K. “It’s been remarkable,” Karnazes said. “I still can’t believe that we get about 100 participants now at the race. We don’t really advertise it too much; it’s more word of mouth. Ultramarathoning is still very grassroots. I don’t think we’ll ever see it as a mass-participant event. “Dare I say it: it’s actually very fun.” Karnazes, 55, one of the most decorated ultra runners in the world, has proved his definition of fun differs from most. (Fri 27) ⚡AMP
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Global Run Challenge Profile: Kati Toivanen is an accomplished artist and a devoted marathoner

RUN THE WORLD: Kati Toivanen started running in 1981, when she arrived in America as an exchange student from Finland.  "I was hosted by a wonderful, loving family in Williston, Vermont," Kati says. "In an effort to connect with other students at the high school, I joined the cross-country team. I was not very good, but worked hard and improved."  That started her life-long fondness of running.  She returned to the the US to attend college and graduate school, eventually building an art career and a family.  "I never raced again until my son's elementary school had a fund raising 5K in 2013. That, and my elliptical breaking, got me started on a path to losing 30 pounds and lacing up for regular running again," she says.   Running has now become an important part of her daily routine. "I like it for its physical and emotional benefits, but increasingly for the social connections."  She belongs to the very active running community in Kansas City.  "Runs fly by as we chat away. I have also gotten faster by hanging onto folks who are just little faster than me," says Kati.  In 2016 she ran her second full marathon.  "The 2016 Helsinki City Marathon was really exciting. The course went around the city where I spent much of my youth," she remembers.  But her most cherished running event was running the 2018 Boston Marathon.  "I typically excel in the face of adversity, so while this year's race conditions were not exactly enjoyable, they played to my strengths: mental toughness, perseverance, stubbornness, and my ability to choose denial at will. I got a small PR and a big BQ for 2019. I plan to run Boston as long as I can hit the qualifying time."  On her bucket list is to run all the Abbott World Marathon Majors.  She will be running the Chicago and New York marathon this fall.  I asked her about her goals? "I am still reaching PRs in my mid-50s before the reality of my age inevitably catches up to me. After that I plan to focus on age-graded results."  Why did you sign up for the Run The World Global Run Challenge I asked.  "I enjoy challenges and structures as well as any project that brings people from many cultures together in a positive way. This is definitely a fun tribe to join as it combines my passions for global citizenship and running," says Kati.  She has now lived half of her life in the states and have a dual citizenship.  She has a 15-year-old son.  Kati is a professor of art at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she also served for seven years as an associate dean in the College of Arts & Sciences. Kati Toivanen is an active artist.  One of her sixteen solo art exhibitions was favorably reviewed in Art in America.  Her works have been published and exhibited nationally and abroad.     (Thu 26) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Michele ‘Mickey’ Graglia, wins the world's toughest foot race in extreme heat at the Badwater 135

Michele ‘Mickey’ Graglia ran an ultra in sub-40-degree weather less six months ago in the Yukon. Yesterday, he experienced the fire of Death Valley and thrived to capture the overall title of the world’s toughest foot race. The 34-year-old coach/athlete from Los Angeles was chased the final 50 miles by three runners -- Texan Jared Fetteroff, Colorado race director Don Reichelt, and, 2011 champion Oswaldo López of Madera. They finished in that order. Graglia, who was born in Italy clocked 24 hours, 51 minutes, 47 seconds. “I pretty much nailed it,” said Graglia, who ran the 2016 Badwater edition in 34 hours, 10 seconds. Fetteroff was about a dozen minutes behind; Reichelt about 75 minutes back; and López a little more than 2 hours behind. “Oh my God! I just want to hug everyone right now,” said Graglia at Mt. Whitney portal, the end of a 135-mile race that began the night before at Badwater Basin.  Micah Morgan finished in 30 hours and nine minutes to land her on the national podium finishing third in the female division and ninth overall. Badwater starts at 279 feet below sea level in the Badwater Basin, in California's Death Valley, and ends at an elevation of 8,360 feet at Mount Whitney. Temperatures reached as high as 121 degrees.  (Thu 26) ⚡AMP
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Peter Thompson needed a new challenge so he decided to run the Tour de France course in 70 days

The feeling of needing a challenge to keep stimulated is something many can empathise with. A 10k to keep fit, a triathlon to burn off Christmas excesses, maybe even an Iron Man for the seriously dedicated. But when you have already completed a marathon in an elite time of 2hr 25min and run 44 marathons in 44 different countries in 44 consecutive days, it is a little harder to find an appropriate test. This was the dilemma facing 34-year-old Peter Thompson, who on Wednesday completed the challenge of running the Tour de France route and finishing it before the cyclists. To stand a chance of achieving this feat, Thompson, who works in the voluntary sector helping isolated individuals, set out seven weeks before the Tour started. This meant that as he completed his odyssey he had been running for 70 days straight. Speaking to The Daily Telegraph on Thursday on his way home to Bournemouth, Thompson said: “It’s been an amazing experience. My girlfriend Sally’s been with me and supported me the whole time, and I think she’s forgiven me now!” After rediscovering his love for running with the 44-marathon challenge last year, Thompson began his Tour de France attempt on May 19. Over the course of 10 weeks he has grappled with blazing 95F (35C) heat and grass verges where one false step could mean a fatal fall off the side of a mountain. There were moments when he felt he could not go on but the incentive of “breathtakingly beautiful” mountain views always kept him going. At the finish line, Thompson felt “huge excitement and pride” but was too exhausted to have a big celebration, only managing a couple of beers with his girlfriend before conking out at 10pm. To compensate he is planning a party at the weekend with friends and family. (Thu 26) ⚡AMP
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